Ruth wrote: Yes, you might be blaming me now (!) but for a sloping shoulder, you cut out the entire armscye and slide it downwards, not just the shoulder seam, as that will produce the problems you have just encountered - a too-tight armscye also will not fit the sleeve head btw. I have to say on the narrow back thing, it depends on the pattern company. I find Vogue shoulders HUGE, and Burda about right, but the shoulder slope is pretty standard.
One of the great things I love about the on-line sewing community is the in-put. Our bodies are all unique and - as sewists - we've all had different experiences and been exposed to varying resources and yet we have commonalities that allow us to help each other. That's pretty fabulous.
I was not at all upset that Ruth's earlier comment set me to exploring sloping shoulders and I'm equally appreciative of Debbie's input into how to make that adjustment. Part of the reason, I've been taking a break from blouses is because I really, really, really want a simple answer to the issue of excess fabric behind the sleeve. Actually, I want a simple answer to all of my fitting issues. My goal is to enjoy sewing, and especially to enjoy creative sewing, and not to make endless muslins with seemingly limitless pattern adjustments. I just don't think I'm that "deformed" if you know what I mean. I have a pretty basic, bottom heavy, pear shaped figure. It shouldn't be that hard which means I'm over-complicating things... and that doesn't surprise me... and it's why I spent my weekend with Peggy - Sager - of Silhouette Patterns.
Not in real life. I wish. In webcasts. I watched her webcasts about pant fitting months ago and she came across as extremely confident and capable which is the same impression I received from her when I stopped by the booth at Sew Expo in Puyallup plus she was wearing pants she'd sewn and they fit FABULOUSLY. The thing is...
... Peggy's methods differ greatly from what many of the other sewing experts are telling us. They seem much more doable and far less labour intensive and - to be completely honest - that's exactly what I'm looking for. I want an easier method both for myself so I'm spending less time on fit and more on creativity and for my daughter so she realizes that sewing is fun and not nearly as complex as Mom makes it seem. Every once in a while she talks about sewing fashions and I'm very hopeful that at some point she'll start. From the few garments she did sew years ago, she seemed to have a natural aptitude for it so I know she'll be amazing when and if.
At Sew Expo, my friend bought the #195 Sweater Set. Last week, she sewed the t-shirt with the French dart and LOVES it. Since she's new to fashion sewing that's a great testimonial BUT... I have a huge collection of mostly Vogue patterns so what I want to know is how to transfer the way in which Peggy sews to these other patterns. I've heard numerous comments about how the BMV patterns are wider in the shoulders and the shoulders seem to be my issue. I want a simple solution.
One of Peggy's goals is to teach us to think and to not expect to be told all the answers but to be able to figure them out for ourselves. Yes! I totally agree with that. She talks about analyzing fit from the perspective of length, circumference, and depth in the webcast Fitting Yourself, By Yourself. Length is vertical as in the distance from the shoulders to the bust, the bust to the waist, and the waist to the hips or crotch. Circumference is horizontal as in is there enough fabric to go around you. And depth is three dimensional as in all the darts and seams that create the way the garment flows around your body. The goal is to match these to your body. It's highly individual with no right or wrong answer. Our body is our body. When you think about it that way, it suddenly seems a lot easier. The webcast - of course - is not the entire story so I've ordered the DVD because I'm determined to do better in this area. Two things tickle at my brain.
One is that my friend Lorraine, who is a couture seamstress, does not go through all these pattern altering gyrations every time she sews a garment for a customer. She measures, makes a few modifications, cuts, fits, and adjusts as she sews. That's closer to Peggy's method. It's interesting that both of them have a background in the garment industry and both of them use methods that are based more on draping. It makes me want to know more about draping.
Two, I don't believe all these theories existed years ago when clothing was custom sewn for each person. Back then, the pattern was cut based on individual measurements and the garment was fitted as it was sewn. Again, more like draping. I'm guessing - and Lorraine might know - that there were some basic templates but possibly not. Templates would have overtones of Lynda Maynard's method from DeMystifying Fit and I think that's a HUGE part of my answer, an answer I already found years ago and then abandoned for reasons I'll talk about in Wednesday's post.
Peggy approaches what size to sew from a radically different perspective as well. To give an example with knit t-shirts, she has you wrap the fabric around your body, pin it to the amount of ease you prefer, mark where the fabric meets, measure the distance between the marks, and chose the size that corresponds to that measurement. The size differs depending on the fabric and on the ease preferred. I tried this method with one of Katherine Tilton's patterns and ended up sewing a size 8 and I love the way that top fits. With a woven, the advice is similar. Measure a blouse you already own and enjoy wearing and then choose the pattern size based on that measurement. She gives some general guidelines for if you don't already own a blouse you enjoy wearing which many of us don't.
I already trace my patterns so the only change with this method is having patterns with a wider range of sizes. If you own Burda or New Look patterns, they come that way. I - thankfully - have a few of those. Or, if you're like me and your upper and lower body measurements range over sizes, you may already have a history of purchasing two patterns. I'm thankful for the BMV sales that allow me to buy two patterns for way less than one would normally cost.
Right now, I'm making a Vogue 8837 - Katherine Tilton's - skirt using a purple, black, and grey zebra print that didn't look good next to my face but should look fabulous in a skirt. I hope. It's my wearable muslin as I have another far more expensive fabric I'd like to use next.
Talk soon - Myrna
Grateful - free webcasts, knowledge sharing